Sites & Exhibits

Mabee Farm Historic Site

13559112_10153783887383099_7527720131144442144_oThe oldest farm in the Mohawk Valley (1705), Mabee Farm Historic Site offers visitors today vibrant educational and recreational opportunities. With its deep history and riverside beauty, it’s the perfect place to explore Mohawk Valley heritage.

Walk across weathered pine floors in the home of settlers Jan and Annetje. Say hello to our resident farm animals. Ogle the hand-pegged Dutch Barn (1760s) or just meander through our orchards, gardens, and forest trails. Tied to the dock or parked behind the Dutch Barn sit our reproduction 18th century bateaux, giving visitors an idea of how goods were shipped up and down the river when Schenectady was America’s frontier.

Mabee Farm is also home year-round to interactive exhibitions, lecture series, workshops, and school programs plus extensive historical collections.

Museum & Library

Nestled in the heart of Schenectady’s Stockade Historic District (described by the National Park Service as “the highest concentration of historic period homes in the country”) is the Schenectady History Museum and the Grems-Doolittle Library.

Join us throughout the year to take a walking tour of the Stockade and beyond. Or, come in to meet a renowned speaker and check out our interactive exhibits that tell the stories of Schenectady.

The Museum is the perfect starting point for discovering the history of Schenectady County. Through programs and interactive exhibits, visitors can explore how Schenectady County has changed over the years.

Adjacent to the Schenectady History Museum is the Grems-Doolittle Library, the perfect spot for researching Schenectady history!

The Brouwer House

One of Schenectady’s oldest homes, the Brouwer House is a vibrant centerpiece of Schenectady city culture, filled with authentic character. The 1730s home is the only colonial-era Schenectady house open to the public, and possesses evocative, walled gardens.

The Brouwer House is a creative space for artists in Schenectady. Currently, we’re happy to have Ulster Soaps and the NorthEast Theatre Ensemble working within our doors. The house is open by appointment, and occasionally for special events. The property can also be rented for receptions, weddings, and garden parties.

Current Exhibits:

Back in my Day: Childhood, Play, and Schenectady
January – November 2019 @ 32 Washington Ave
Are play and childhood toys a reflection of larger social, cultural, and technological developments? This exhibition examines that question, focusing primarily on cultural and social influences on childhood in the 20th & 21st century. The exhibit also integrates personal childhood experiences and memories from members of our community.

A Dishonorable Trade: Human Trafficking in the Dutch Atlantic World
January – October 2019 @ Mabee Farm
A traveling exhibit curated by NYS Department of Parks and Recreation. Divided into two parts, the exhibit examines the role that slavery played in the creation and maintenance of the Dutch trading empire, and delves into the lives and stories of the people affected by the trade. Part of the “A Dishonorable Trade” exhibition & lecture series, exploring slavery in NYS.

On and Off the Trail: a collection of poetry and photography by Caroline Bardwell 

March – May 2019 @ Mabee Farm Historic Site

A Schenectady native and “scientist turned artist,” Bardwell is inspired by the inherent beauty of natural settings and diverse heritage of the Capital Region. Through the use of imagery and words, Bardwell captures the richness of our local environment, conveying its beauty and depth, offering the audience a deeper connection with place-based art.

Ongoing Exhibitions:

Beyond the Pines: Early Schenectady
Ongoing at the Schenectady History Museum
Explore early Schenectady: its founding, its people, and what life was like for early Schenectadians. This exhibition features the recently restored Painting of a Boy, one of the most significant portraits in our collection.

Changing Downtown
Ongoing at the Schenectady History Museum
At the heart of a successful downtown are interesting stories and unique buildings that illustrate a city’s distinct character. Changing Downtown traces Schenectady’s stories and buildings through the years, exploring the city’s legacy of transformation and innovation. By discovering the forces that shaped downtown Schenectady, we can better understand ourselves, and our vision for the future.

Boomtown: Immigration, Technology, and Urban Schenectady
Ongoing at the Schenectady History Museum
In this interactive exhibit, leave your mark on our map, find your favorite hat style, dance to music from different eras, and imagine what it would be like to emigrate today. Discover why people immigrate, and immigration’s impact on Schenectady’s urban and cultural landscapes.

Medicine on the Mohawk: featuring the collection of Dr. Spring
Ongoing at the Schenectady History Museum
For centuries, reliable cures were difficult to find. Schenectady – like every village and city – faced waves of deadly disease. Smallpox in the 1700s. Cholera and Typhoid in the 1800s. Spanish Flu in the 1900s. Yet, for nearly as long as Schenectadians have fought illness, doctors and nurses have been here healing. The tools doctors use have changed, as you’ll discover in Medicine on the Mohawk. But the goal remains the same: work together and tirelessly to make us healthy.

Setting Schenectady’s Table
Ongoing at the Schenectady History Museum
Our ceramics collection illustrates the changing nature of trade, food, and hospitality in Schenectady’s history.  Though techniques and styles evolved through the years, these ceramics evoke a sentiment we feel today. The pleasure of good food and drink, shared with great company.

1834 Yates Dollhouse
at the Schenectady History Museum
The second oldest dollhouse in America has spent its whole life in the Stockade! With original early-1800s furnishings and a painful history, it is one of SCHS’s most evocative pieces!